A very intelligent mind often questions in dynamic ways that shatter old, traditional acceptances and assumptions. Albert Einstein, for example, often questioned standard assumptions, and his ground-breaking theories were proven correct by subsequent testing. Einstein once said, “It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.”
Organized religions and society (in general) do not want us to doubt much and question much. They want us to fall in line and follow unwaveringly. And most of us carry loads of deep-rooted conditioning, much of which we would never think of questioning. For instance, our very perception of the world around us (and of ourselves) is largely based on fragmentation, separation, delimitation, and learned distance and time. Most of this is fallacious and delusory, not holistic and of deep insight. When most of us cling to fallacious suppositions and presumptions then disorder is what ensues. And look at what is going on worldwide. (For one thing, if more people questioned wisely, the grocery stores wouldn’t be full of sugar-oriented products and adulterated foods that are shelf-stable but very unhealthy; and we wouldn’t dare dump sugar and crap into our automobile gas tanks.)
If one is fortunate enough to have a good, healthy brain, one can — perhaps — question wisely. Then going beyond crippling conditioning is a tremendous joy, adventure, and blessing beyond words, beyond limitation, beyond mediocrity, beyond time.
From E.E. Cummings: “Always the beautiful answer who asks a more beautiful question.”
We all need to question more. Many of us, as we get older, lose the joy of deep questioning and become dull and stagnant. Many of us, as we age, begin to merely accept what others have poured into us. Then we look with secondhand eyes (which is really not any kind of real looking). Boredom and mediocrity, then, set in.
If a philosophical question is merely a spring-board to get a result (i.e., a quick answer), then it is giving more emphasis to the end rather than the beauty of the means. Real questions have a life of their own; they are not merely a shallow means to an end. The indoctrinated, the blind, do not question deeply enough. They have embraced superficial answers and have become hardened by inflexible, statue-like, rigid traditions and old, stale viewpoints. Then they become rather apathetic, indifferent, and subservient. Of course, they’ll come up with a million reasons to “justify” such behavior. Blind conditioning works in ironclad (though malignant) ways.
If questioning is merely limited by the language (or languages) that one happens to use, and limited by traditions, then such questioning is very circumscribed and tainted. Deep questioning goes beyond the cage-like barriers that language impales, beyond the confines of tradition. Profound questioning — being true intelligence — is often accompanied by deep empathy. What is pure and unsullied often naturally radiates compassion.
Crab Spider in Wildflower Foliage … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
Note… Our internet is out due to a violent storm. Hence, I will not be able to correspond, etc. (My postings have been prescheduled so will continue to appear.) Using a little cellphone to type this, which stinks! Hopefully, we’ll get it fixed in a week or two. Lightning hit our large old-fashioned, rural tower antenna; the sound was unbelievable! Our neighbor’s television, garage door opening system, and phone fried; she smelled sulfur after the hit. Our internet and phone fried.
Most of us do not question enough. We accept, we conform, we remain stale, and we pretty much fit into the norm of the way things are. There are many who think that they are not of the mentality of the masses; however, essentially, fundamentally, despite what they think, they still are. There is a real art to questioning intelligently. In wise questioning, the answers exist curled; they are there. Can a highly shackled mind, a cuckoo mind, a mind that is heavily conditioned by society, ask extremely profound questions? Probably not. When the mind is tethered to a limited point, it has a limited circumference; its field is partial and restricted and it remains within (and exists “as”) limited bounds. A truly dynamic mind, however, perceives with more unlimited vastness; it is open rather than closed; it is free rather than enslaved.
Indifference, uncaringness, is a form of prison. A mind of indifference hasn’t questioned enough, hasn’t looked beyond restricted, little boundaries and domains. Such a mind is satisfied with merely feeding and caring for the little. Its space of confinement and separation — which is itself — is its very own prison; such a prison doesn’t require cold steel bars; it does require a coldness of a different variety. Intelligent questioning often consists of a warm benevolence that encompasses all, without learned boundaries, without power manipulation, without an isolated center.
The Outdoor Cuckoo Clock (1) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2017
The Outdoor Cuckoo Clock (2) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2017